On 18 November, the US Department of State demonstrated the US government’s new Containerised Biocontainment System (CBCS) at Dulles International Airport, Virginia, US. The system, called ‘state-of-the-art’ by the Department of State, facilitates the aeromedical transport of critically ill patients who require biocontainment, such as those suffering from infectious diseases like Ebola virus. The event was part of an exercise, named Tranquil Surge, which saw the CBCS return from Monrovia, Liberia in a retrofitted Boeing 747 aircraft.
The CBCS unit is the first of its kind, according to the Department of State, and has become viable due to a partnership between Paul G. Allen Foundation and the Department of State. The system will use specially fitted transport containers to take four to six critically ill patients at a time. The hope is that the new system will be a ‘revolutionary step towards the future of global biosecurity’ and aims to learn from the 2014 Ebola outbreak.
The Departments of State and Health and Human Services are conduction a series of four tests on the new unit to test its capabilities. The 747 was operated by Kalitta Air and Phoenix Air.